For Buyers

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think!

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think | Keeping Current Matters

In a study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide, it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home.

Depending on where you live, median rents, incomes and home prices all vary. By determining the percentage of income a renter spends on housing in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, they were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save.

According to the study, residents in South Dakota are able to save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3.5 years. Below is a map created using the data for each state:

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think | Keeping Current Matters

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae 3% down programs? Suddenly saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in under two years in many states as shown in the map below.

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Meet with us at Triple Crown Realty-Keller Williams, Guy & Joi McKinney your professional Realtors® who can help you evaluate your ability to buy today.

WHAT WAS THE GOOD NEWS IN FEBRUARY?

Bryan 2- Jeff

Sales of houses priced at $1 million or more rose more than 12% in the year 2015 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the Texas Association of Realtors.  The rate of increase in luxury home sales in the D-FW area was about twice the overall growth of preowned home purchases.  Last year’s million-dollar-home sales rise in North Texas follows a 15% increase in 2014.  The D-FW area had 1,088 luxury home sales during the first 10 months of 2015.  The median price of luxury homes sold in North Texas was $1.4 million – the highest of any of the state’s major markets.


New York City and Dallas-Fort Worth were the two fastest growing commercial construction markets in 2015.  Among the largest commercial building markets, New York City construction start volumes rose by 66 percent in 2015 from 2014 levels.  And in the D-FW area construction of commercial buildings and apartments increased by 35 percent last year from the year before, according to a new report by Dodge Data & Analytics.

D-FW ranked third for total building volume with $6 billion in new project starts, behind New York with $34.9 billion in new construction and Miami at $6.3 billion.


 

The Mortgage Bankers Association most recently released information showed that the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties dropped to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.77 percent of all loans.  This is the lowest level since the third quarter of 2006.


 

More than 4,000 jobs were added at Alliance Texas in far north Fort Worth in 2015, bringing the development’s employment numbers above 45,000, a new report shows.  Since it started with the opening of Alliance Airport in 1989, Hillwood Properties’ 18,000-acre mixed-used development has generated $59.69 billion in economic impact to North Texas, including $4.32 billion last year, according to an annual report presented to the City Council.  2015 was a big year for Alliance in terms of new projects, including groundbreaking on the $1 billion Facebook data center and Walmart.com’s announcement for another e-commerce center at Alliance Center North II, Hillwood said.  Facebook bought 110 acres from Hillwood earlier in 2015. But by mid-December it added another 39 acres for a possible expansion beyond the planned 750,000 square feet of data center space already on the drawing board.

Home Prices Up 5.76% Across The Country! [INFOGRAPHIC]

FHFA-Home-Prices-STM-670x1024

Friday March 4th, 2016 For Buyers, For Sellers, Infographics, Pricing

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latestQuarterly Home Price Index report.
  • In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state.
  • Based on the latest numbers, waiting to move may end up costing you more!

Homeownership Finally Makes Political Debate

American-Dream-Homeownership

See whole article: English or Espanol Version Available

Finally, the issue of homeownership has become a platform talking point in this year’s presidential debate. Yesterday, one of the candidates running for President spoke out about the importance of homeownership in America.

Hillary Clinton……Click here to continue

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Thinking of Buying a Home? 3 Questions Every Buyer Should Answer First

Thinking of Buying a Home? 3 Questions Every Buyer Should Answer First | Keeping Current Matters

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Answering the following 3 questions will help you determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, if you are planning on buying a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait till next year. Your down payment will need to be higher as well to account for the higher home price.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately three-quarters of a percent over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:

Mortgage Rate Projections | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Harvard: Why Owning A Home Makes Sense Financially

Piggy-Bank-with-Glasses

Monday February 1st, 2016 First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers

We have reported many times that the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. The personal reasons to own differ for each buyer, with many basic similarities.

Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard Universityexpanded on the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership in his paper –The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study: 

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent.

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.” 

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially. If you are one of the many considering a purchase this year, let’s get together to discuss your options!

NAR’S Latest Existing Home Sales Report [INFOGRAPHIC]

ESPAÑOL VERSION

NAR's Latest Existing Home Sales Report [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Existing Home Sales are up 10.3% year-over-year across the country.
  • Sales rose to an annual rate of 5.59 million marking the 10th month in a row of year-over-year gains
  • Prices are up 5.6% year-over-year in the U.S. to a median price of $234,000
  • Marked the 41st consecutive month of year-over year price gains.

Are Home Values REALLY at Record Levels?

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Are Home Values REALLY at Record Levels? | Simplifying The Market

Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report. The report announced that the median existing-home price in June was $236,400. That value surpasses the peak median sales price set in July 2006 ($230,400). This revelation created many headlines exclaiming that home prices had hit a “new record”:

Wall Street Journal: Existing-Home Prices Hit Record

USA Today: Existing home sales surge, prices hit record

Though the headlines are accurate, we want to take a closer look at the story. We do not want people to believe that this information is evidence that a new “price bubble” is forming in housing.

NAR reports the median home price. That means that 50% of the homes sold above that number and 50% sold below that number. With fewer distressed properties (lower valued) now selling, the median price will rise. The median value does not reflect that each individual property is increasing in value.

Below are the comments from Bill McBride, the author of the esteemed economic blog Calculated Risk. McBride talks about the challenges with using the median price and also explains that in “real” prices (taking into consideration inflation) we are nowhere close to a record.

“In general I’d ignore the median sales price because it is impacted by the mix of homes sold (more useful are the repeat sales indexes like Case-Shiller or CoreLogic). NAR reported the median sales price was $236,400 in June, above the median peak of $230,400 in July 2006. That is 9 years ago, so in real terms, median prices are close to 20% below the previous peak. Not close.”

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal covered this issue in detail. In this story, Nick Timiraos explained that this rise in median prices is nothing to be concerned about:

“Does this mean we have another problem on our hands? Not really…There may be other reasons to worry about housing affordability by comparing prices with incomes or prices with rents for a given market. But crude comparisons of nominal home prices with their 2006 and 2007 levels shouldn’t be used to make cavalier claims about a new bubble.”

Bottom Line

Home values are appreciating. However, they are not increasing at a rate that we should have fears of a new housing bubble around the corner.

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Buyer Demand Continues To Outpace Housing Supply

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Buyer Demand Continues To Outpace Housing Supply | Simplifying The Market

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, and the market demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report.

Inventory Levels & Demand

Sales of existing homes rose 3.2% from May, outpacing year-over-year figures for the ninth consecutive month. Total unsold housing inventory is at a 5.0-month supply.

This is down from May’s 5.1-month supply and remains below the 6 months that is needed for a historically normal market.

Consumer confidence is at the highest level in over a decade. Pair that with interest rates still around 4%, new programs available for down payments as low as 3%, and you have an attractive market for buyers.

Buyer demand for housing surged to it’s highest level since June 2013.

Prices Rising

June marked the 40th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median price of existing homes sold rose to $236,400 (up 6.5% from 2014).

So What Does This Mean?

The chart below shows the impact that inventory levels have on home prices.

The Impact of Inventory on Home Prices | Simplifying The Market

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun gave some insight into the correlation:

“Limited inventory amidst strong demand continues to push home prices higher, leading to declining affordability for prospective buyers.”

NAR’s President, Chris Polychron added:

“The demand for buying has really heated up this summer, leading to multiple bidders and homes selling at or above asking price.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating putting your home on the market in 2015, now may be the time. The number of buyers ready and willing to make a purchase is at the highest level in years. Let’s get together to discuss your options.

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Stop Paying Your Landlord’s Mortgage!

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Stop Paying Your Landlord's Mortgage! | Simplifying The Market

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either your mortgage or your landlord’s.

As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  

That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Christina Boyle, a Senior Vice President, Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management atFreddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

The graph below shows the widening gap in net worth between a homeowner and a renter:

Increasing Gap in Family Wealth | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting since home values and interest rates are projected to climb.